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Link up with Omnichain: reimagining your network of supply partners

Stakeholders have access to all relevant data needed for their roles within supply chains, in real time.


Omnichain information from along a manufacturer's supply chain is available anywhere, any time. PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Omnichain information from along a manufacturer’s supply chain is available anywhere, any time. PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Manufacturers operate in a progressively complex business world hinging on customers’ lofty expectations when it comes to product quality, availability and rapid delivery. Canadian companies must respond by building intricate supply chains involving multiple layers of partners. Manufacturers are demanding real-time visibility into and control over every aspect of the supply chain, whether the facilities are internal or external, domestic or international.

However, the systems many companies run their supply chains on prevent them from realizing the promise of real time transparency and control.

Disparate and niche supply chain products are amassed over time that are inflexible and operate with minimal integration, making it difficult if not impossible to obtain accurate, full and clear pictures of the entire supply chain.

There is another way to see the supply chain. Instead of separate links in a chain, which sets the stage for a linear mix of distinct systems, consider an ‘omnichain’: one single cloud-based environment built around a unified data set that fully integrates all supply chain business processes, no matter where they occur.

Stakeholders have access to all relevant data needed for their roles within supply operations, in real-time.

Cloud-based applications are built upon a foundation of agility, flexibility and scalability so they’re well suited to supporting an omnichain and they’re easily customizable, based on individual user needs.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) supply chain management applications are achieving functional parity with onsite SCM software. IT advisory and analyst firm Gartner says the cloud application services SCM market is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 18.1% (2013 through 2018) and is set to become a $4.2 billion opportunity.

Better visibility

Taking a cloud approach also allows manufacturers to build their supply chains quickly without the IT costs, time and maintenance required by some onsite systems.

Klenzoid Canada Inc., an industrial water management company, based in Mississauga, Ont., is data driven and strives for water systems to achieve and maintain the lowest possible operating costs. With efficiency as a corner stone of its business, the company needed a supply chain management system that would best serve its customers. An existing custom-built, DOS-based ERP and Lotus notes for CRM couldn’t provide the automation and integration needed for process efficiencies and visibility across Klenzoid’s systems.

Implementing integrated systems increased operational efficiencies by 40% and provided better visibility into inventory while ensuring nearly perfect on-time delivery for chemicals and equipment. Customer satisfaction skyrocketed, and business-to-business clients doubled to 1,500 in eight years.

Here are some omnichain advantages:

  • Information is used to make decisions, plan and to assess supplier performance. Manufacturers and partners operate with clearer communication, fluid collaboration and interact directly with customers.
  • Omnichain supply processes are streamlined to meet the company’s needs. This increases a manufacturer’s flexibility when, for example, it has to change long-established businesses processes on the fly to fulfil and then refresh smaller runs of products more frequently, all within a more compressed time to market.
  • Manufacturers manage their entire supply chain operations, no matter who the operator is or where it’s located. With increasingly integrated operations and information sharing, third-party logistics providers and other partners become a virtual part of the manufacturer’s organization.
  • With a flexible, customizable supply chain, manufacturers are optimally placed to adapt their business models and focus on as-needed responses to new technologies, competitors and changing consumer purchasing trends.

Rethinking supply chain operations allows manufacturers to develop a proactive response to changes, large and small and important information will be available – anywhere, anytime.

Gavin Davidson is an ERP product-marketing manager for NetSuite, a provider of cloud-based business management software based in San Mateo, Calif., with Canadian offices in Mississauga, Ont.

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